2018 has flown by, and we're now fast approaching the new year. In this post, I wanted to give you all a simple breakdown on how you can get ready for 2019 with six steps that you can take to strengthen your social media strategy.
It's important to update and upgrade your strategy in alignment with the latest trends and shifts. Hopefully these notes will help you stay on track, and in line with the evolving digital landscape.
1. Review How You Current Use Social Media
The first step in strengthening your social media strategy, at any point, is to review how you’re currently using social media.
Really take a step back here - remove yourself and get an outsiders perspective. You can ask yourself the following questions:
- Which social media networks are you currently on?
- Are they still relevant to your brand goals?
- Which social media networks are driving the most relevant traffic or conversions for you?
- Which social media networks are a time suck?
As hard as it may seem, it may be time to give some networks up. It’s better to concentrate on the ones that are working, and using their features to your best advantage, as opposed to wasting time, energy, and possibly money on useless ones. Consider quitting a social media network if:
- It’s been a while, and you’re still talking to yourself - Building a strong social media following is a process, and it takes time, but if everything else has taken off and one network's lagging, you may not have an audience there.
- You’ve tried strategies from A-Z - Nothing changes. Sometimes, one platform lags because you’re posting in the wrong format, or the wrong time etc., but if you’ve worked out all those kinks, and experimented with your strategy (and given it time) and still nothing, it could be time to say “bye”.
- Not even an expert can help - if you’ve hired a qualified expert and even they can’t work out the problem – definitely spend your time on something else.
To find out what networks you should actually be spending your time on there are a few things you can do:
- Ask your audience where they hang out. You can do this via a survey or via social media posts.
- Check out where your competition is active
- Pay attention to the networks giving you the best results
- Think about which social media networks align with the type of content you have the capacity to create. For example, if you don’t have the capacity to create videos – maybe YouTube isn’t the best option for you.
Another aspect of reviewing how you use social media is to determine things you would like to change or explore. Whether that be re-branding your accounts, giving them a new theme or trying out new forms of visual content there are always aspects to play with when it comes to your online presence. Don’t forget to include these when you plan your social media strategy for 2019.
2. Optimize Your Social Media Networks
The next thing you want to take a look at to strengthen your social media strategy in the new year may seem over simple: optimize your social media profiles and create a good social media bio.
Make sure that your profile and header images are clear and up to date, include keywords in your “about” sections, and make sure any links in your bio are relevant and working.
It's simple, and a basic staple of social media marketing, but you'd be surprised how often such details are overlooked.
3. Identify Your Future Goals
After you’ve taken a look at what you’re currently doing, and you've decided what networks to keep and which to cut, it’s time to set some goals for yourself.
Take some time to look at your analytics (which you probably already did to determine which social media networks are working). From there, you can asses where you're at, and set goals for where you want to be by year's end.
Goals don’t have to be super complicated - one might be "going from posting 3 times a week to 4 times a week", or maybe driving more downloads from social media.
It's important to set realistic, achievable goals based on your current situation, but also some that will push you to achieve.
4. Set Up a Content Schedule
A big part of creating a social media strategy that works for your business is figuring out what your core social media schedule will look like.
A social media or content schedule will help you with consistency and retention, as well as assisting with content gaps and figuring out what works and what doesn’t for your audience. It'll also ensure you don't end up tearing your hair out in frustration when looking for what to post.
You can learn about even more benefits to creating a content schedule here: Why You Should Create A Core Social Media Schedule (And How To Do It)
5. Don’t Forget Video Content
One thing you cannot forget to include to strengthen your social media strategy for 2019 is creating more videos.
In 2019, there'll be an even stronger emphasis on videos, but more specifically on Instagram Stories and IGTV. This is because making your way into your follower’s feeds has become a little more difficult, and I don’t know about you, but Instagram Stories are just so easy to see and digest – they are short and sit at the top of the homepage, and you can easily tap your way through a bunch of them.
Another aspect I really like about Instagram Stories is just like the name implies - the tool enables you to really tell a story and go more in depth. It gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience. What I like about IGTV is that it also lets you provide deeper content for your audience.
6. Analyze, Rinse Repeat
Last but not least, to have a strong social media strategy you’ll have to keep up recording on your analytics.
If you know me in my professional life, you know I’m absolutely obsessed with analytics, and you’d be surprised as to how often they're overlooked. You’ll want to keep track of your followers, but more importantly, keep track of reach, impressions and engagement.
These are six simple ways you can get on the path to strengthening your social media strategy for 2019. Hopefully these tips will help set you on the right path, or at least prompt some relevant reminders of key elements you may have easily overlooked in your planning.
A version of this post was first published on Dhariana Lozano's World blog.